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Urban Strategy in the Present Tense ft. Rachel Wenrick and Charles Lomax

Urban Strategy in the Present Tense is a conversation series featuring notable urbanists discussing their frontline work in urban resilience, as well as sharing their insights about public policymaking, urban problem solving, and life in Philadelphia.

The seventh installment of this conversation series featured Rachel Wenrick, Founding Director of the Writers Room and Associate Teaching Professor of English at Drexel University and Charles Lomax, co-founder of Lomax Real Estate Partners and treasurer of the Philadelphia Accelerator Fund.

The series is produced by the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation at Drexel University in partnership with the Urban Strategy Masters Program in Drexel's Westphal College of Media, Arts & Design.

Rachel Wenrick has worked as a waitress, a roofer, and a teacher. All of these jobs require paying attention. Being a writer has trained her to look for the through-lines that intersect to make a larger narrative. As Founding Director of Writers Room, Drexel’s university-community literary arts program, she had the vision and continues to build the cross-sector partner network needed to realize Second Story Collective. An arts-centered model for intergenerational co-living, Second Story is an alternative strategy for addressing two of our community’s most pressing needs—affordable housing and aging-in-place options. She received an MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts and is co-author of singer and activist Angelique Kidjo’s memoir, Spirit Rising (HarperCollins).

Charles Lomax has been with The Lomax Companies (“TLC”) and its predecessors for over 25 years and is a Partner with the firm, with responsibility for its real estate activities. Previously, Mr. Lomax was instrumental in the growth and ongoing management of The Lomax Companies’ healthcare management businesses. Upon the successful exit of those healthcare businesses, he co-founded Lomax Real Estate Partners, LP (“LREP”), a commercial and residential real estate development firm. Under his leadership, LREP has developed and managed a number of residential and commercial projects throughout the Philadelphia region. As Chairman and CEO of LREP, he provides oversight for the firm’s real estate activities including but not limited to business development, land planning, and product design.

Mr. Lomax serves on the board of The John Bartram Association, The Philadelphia Accelerator Fund, Drexel University’s Presidential Real Estate Advisory Council, and The West Laurel Hill Funeral Home and Management Company. He also serves on the board of directors of several of the portfolio companies owned and operated by The Lomax Companies, LP and is a Trustee of The Lomax Family Foundation.

He has a B.A in Economics from Guilford College, Greensboro, NC.  Mr. Lomax is also a member of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.